Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ost of Eden

Ost resignationJust when you’ve given up hope in our entire leadership along comes someone to restore your faith in humanity.

Step forward the real “Angel Gabriel” Ost. Arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, he had the good sense and decency to step down in the interim from his position as CEO of Shomrim North West while he fights to clear his name.

You may think that is not particularly remarkable and is exactly what any sensible person in his position would do. Alas, you would not have been living in Jewish London for the last half year if you harboured such thoughts.

If only the main protagonist would have mustered the same dignity and courage and acted in a likewise manner, he would have saved the broader community, the UOHC, his own shul and followers, his family including his elderly father and, above all, himself the shame and disgrace that has justifiably been heaped upon them all. He could then have tried to clear his name away from the limelight and without dragging everyone along with him.

And if he was not capable of such a momentous decision there should have been someone at the UOHC to tell him what was obvious to everyone but to the Dear Leaders. But as we have learned to our cost, not only do these people have no vestige of self respect they do not even possess the modicum of sense to act in their own good and simply for their self preservation.

They will undoubtedly claim that Ost has acted in a Catholic manner and that true Da’as Torah mandates holding on by the skin of their teeth and the more intense the battle the greater the Kiddush Hashem. And let them delude themselves for never will they recognise the unpalatable truth that they are way beyond hope and redemption and there is nowhere for them to go but walk the plank.

Gavriel may be under suspicion but it is this lot who are truly doomed.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Breach Position

We are where we are and a chap, who until recently was a senior member of the most senior rabbinical body of our community, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. So what does the body do? Forget about the rabbis. They're not trained in crises handling and the best one can expect from them is to stroke their beards and call on their flock to repent. After all, our leaders are only under suspicion while we're a bunch of hoary sinners at the best of times, or at least so we're told. You would also not expect our Chief to do anything but keep his counsel this time round given what happened when he was last consulted on such delicate issues. Silence after all doesn't make particularly good TV viewing.

But what of our lay leaders? What do they do at a time like this? You know like the robin-round Rosh Hakohol. Or the chairman of the external affairs committee who week in week out pontificates on neither here nor there. Or the spokesman and occasional 'QC' who graces the airwaves on everything from the decadence of universities to the equality of women (and more recently has been manning the child line protecting kids from cops). Or the worm hunters, the stocking weavers, the skirt measurers, the grave diggers and all the other heavenly enforcers making their abode in our square mile.

Do they have nothing to say? No concern, no guidance, no comment? Perhaps the executive committee has gone into plenary session to determine whether this is a matter for the external affairs or the internal affairs or whether it's an affair at all. But still they could let off some smoke to tell the masses that "we are dealing with this". We've had some chizuk from the boys in blue so why not them?

But wait it's Purim too so surely that must merit something. And so it did with the result above for all to see. Because as they say, "It was recently come to light" and not a minute too soon.

Didn't we know that this is all just a bad dream? A silly prank by some chevre dressed up with a flashing light on their car. The joke of course could only go so far and what really matters are those filthy perverted photographers. How dare they breach our mechitze fortifications to perv on our womenfolk dancing? What do they think? That they cholilo pole dance at the Decorium, do a Harlem Shake at the 'communal' wedding hall hired at preferential rates (not clear whose preference, though) or prance Gangnam Style at the Prince and Princess? Let the photographers take their proste lenses and stick them up elsewhere because if they're not careful we'll turn our lenses on them and they won't like it.

And so at this delicate time, when the world is examining what them rabbis get up to, trust our Union to speak up for the man in the street. Or in this case the photographer in the hall.

You've just got to love them. The timing, the perspicacity, the sagaciousness, the sheer brilliance of coming out with a notice like this at the end of a week we've just had and 2 days before Purim. Don't you just want to go up to each and every one of our Dear Leaders and give them a big hug. This is the crowning glory to their most successful winter on record and still they could outdo themselves even further.

As I said, it is Purim when no joke is too corny and no wit too flat so let me share just another one with you.

Q: Why does the Union provide a mother and baby home?
A: Because they're always in the breach position.

Cha cha cha, s'iz git, vos?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Let My People Speak

Due to this morning's arrests the position with comments has become further complicated due to sub-judice (pronounced, sub JEW dc) rules. For some helpful guidance please see the following links:

Please read carefully before you comment. Editing comments is horribly time consuming and if there is any doubt the comment will not be published.

If there is a media lawyer reading this and is able to assist please can you make yourself known by email.

There is however no reason why there cannot be a sensible discussion on how we got to where we are and the many repercussions to the community of the current situation. So please do not give in to those who would like to silence us and do contribute to this very important debate.

Be heard not herded.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Tickle Tackled

As you all know this site has been the subject of legal action. We have no intention of boring you with the details but a few things must be said.

There is a court order for Google Inc to disclose the IP address of the owner of this blog as well as of certain 'named' commenters which are based in the EU. The pseudonyms of the affected comments are listed below and those concerned should urgently seek legal advice.

"The official FISHEL"
"Betrayed Former Supporter"
"Playing with fire"
"Ger - (woman with brain)"
"Be a Mentch!"
"DSM IV 302.89"
"Kazuhide Uekusa"
"Stamford Hill'er"
"Ben Tzion"
"Laurence Davis"
"The Curtain Falls"
"r"l strikes again"
"now I understand"

In addition there are the following "Anonymous"  posts which are also subject to the Order:

18/11/12 19:07
20/11/12 07:35
20/11/12 08:55
21/11/12 01:28
22/11/12 00:00
25/11/12 18:51
27/11/12 12:10

Those affected can write to for some assistance.

A number of those affected by the order have already obtained legal advice and as a result of that advice all comments have been removed from the posts dealing with the Halpern saga, to protect those that have commented. While only a fraction of the comments could potentially be defamatory, the numbers are such that it would be too time consuming to sift through them and delete just those that could be problematic. Hopefully with time and crowd sourcing the questionable comments can be removed and the remaining comments restored.

Make no mistake however: this blog is not going away. This debate has always been primarily about the scandalous failure and hypocrisy of the UOHC's entire rabbinical and lay leadership from the very top down and for which no one has to date taken any responsibility. No libel law in the world will stop this blog from saying that. Comments on this and related matters will continue to be published though due to legal constraints there will be heavier editing which will result in comments taking longer to get through.

Finally we would like to thank the very many people who have offered support in every form, including financial, legal, technological, moral and spiritual. It is heartening to know that we have the backing of a sizeable community willing to stand up for the truth. We may appeal to you in the near future for contributions to a legal fighting fund and information will be posted accordingly.

This has never been a case of Golders Green against Stamford Hill, Chasidim against Litvaks, LBD against Kedassia or Modern Orthodox versus Ultra Orthodox. This is a campaign of decency against thuggery, justice against injustice and truth against obfuscation, deceit and outright lies. It may take long and it will be tough but the people behind this campaign will see it through to the end and will fight for what is just and right.

Our motto to this campaign is:
והדרך צלח ורכב על דבר אמת וענוה צדק ותורך נוראות ימינך - תהילים מה, ד

And in thy majesty prosper, ride on in the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; and let thy right hand teach thee awesome things. (Psalms 45,4)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Clear Blue Water

Rabbi Cohn on reporting abuse
[1 February 2013]
I wish to make it clear that the Haloche requires that cases involving criminal activity must be reported to the authorities (social services or police) without delay. Victims of crime who do so, will of course be given all appropriate support. Where criminal activity is only suspected, the above also applies, however care must then be taken to ascertain that these concerns do indeed have a reasonable basis.
May God grant all of us the protection necessary to ensure that the situation never occurs in practice.
Good Shabbos
Rabbi Cohn
So it appears we have a serious machloikes haposkim (dispute of the authorities). Rav Padwa is of the view that reporting abuse to the police is mesira and anyway “the police is not the solution,” while Rabbi Cohn thinks it is actually haloche that requires one to report all criminal activity to the authorities which includes the police.
Rabbi Cohn as we know is also an ‘honest broker’ in the UOHC convened Beis Din investigating the Towelgate affair and it was he who put out a call for witnesses to come forward. One therefore wonders what his advice will be to complainants who allege criminal activity.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Not Just Another Brick in the Wall

Original Scarfe Cartoon…


…and Hamodia’s take on it

Scarfe, hamodia style

For goodness sake, they’re wearing a tichel

Methinks that the JAA (Jewish Acronym Alliance) ought to demand an immediate retraction of this notorious distortion of this notorious ad, Rupert Murdoch’s counterpart at Hamodia Newspaper Ltd must issue an unreserved apology and the Hamodia’s editor should be seriously considering his position.

And as for Gerald Scarfe’s chareidi counterpart, if only we had one…